What kind of environments nourish you? What is it about these environments that provides you with a sense of peace? Is it the way they look? Smell? Feel? Welcome to the next part of my "Detox Your Life" series, Detox Your Home, where I will discuss ways to improve the overall health of your home from improving air quality to detoxing your kitchen.
Why is it important to take a look at our home space and find ways to detox it? Unfortunately, there are many chemicals that can disrupt our endocrine system, which is our system of glands and organs that produce and secrete hormones that regulate our energy levels, metabolism, reproduction, growth and development, as well as control our stress levels and mood. These glands and organs include our thyroid, parathyroid, ovaries, testicles, adrenals, hypothalamus, pineal, pancreas, thymus, and pituitary. When our endocrine system is disrupted, it can lead to many illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, weight gain, depression and even early development in children. Let's explore some ways to make sure your home is as healthy as possible.
Unfortunately, there are many chemicals that can disrupt our endocrine system, which is our system of glands and organs that produce and secrete hormones that regulate our energy levels, metabolism, reproduction, growth and development, as well as control our stress levels and mood.
Improve Air Quality
Breathing in good, quality air helps us sleep better, helps with allergies, and improves our energy levels. Surprisingly, the overall quality of air in your home can be more polluted than the air outside. And, most of us spend more time indoors than outside. Many types of furniture, cleaning products and air fresheners omit toxins and VOCs. (volatile organic compounds). VOCs have been known to cause migraines, fatigue, sore throats and even allergies.
Surprisingly, the overall quality of air in your home can be more polluted than the air outside.
Start by purchasing an air monitor This device will tell you when the air quality is bad in your home and oftentimes will give you recommendations for what to do. For more insight into which one to purchase, take a look at this article on the top 6 rated air quality monitors.
Air purifiers It is a good idea to invest in high quality air purifiers. The best place to keep these is in the bedrooms, but many people like to have one for each room. I like the brand Molekule.
Air out your home Open up those windows and get some fresh air in.
Avoid plug in air fresheners, heavily scented candles and air sprays These products have a high chemical load. If you love using essential oil diffusers, limit the use to one hour/day and only use organic essential oils. Opt for fresh flowers to make your home smell fresh. Support your local flower farmer and purchase a weekly flower subscription. My friend Megan owns Black Petal Farm and I love how beautiful her flowers are and how wonderful my home smells when these bouquets make their way from her garden to me.
Purchase a house plant There are many large leaf plants that help purify the air. If you have pets and small children, just make sure the plants you purchase are safe for them to be around.
Dust regularly Even dust can hold a lot of contaminants.
Have you ever noticed that the kitchen is where most of us spend the majority of our time in our homes? It is a place where families come together after a long day and reconnect. It is a place where we share meals together, entertain others and have meaningful conversations. It is also a place where celebrations occur such as birthdays and anniversaries. I spend a lot of time in my own kitchen meal planning, cooking and entertaining. Let's focus on ways we can make this space more comforting, healthy and nourishing for ourselves and our families.
Declutter Piles and more piles. Does this sound familiar? Sometimes I feel like all I do is move piles around from one place to the next place. When a space is free from clutter and piles of dishes, we feel more at ease and have more space to have clarity for decision making and creativity.
Food Preparation When it comes to preparing food, avoid non-stick pans made with toxic chemicals. These chemicals have been linked to cancer as well as liver toxicity. If you do have them, don't heat up to over 450 degrees and throw them away immediately once they show wear and tear. Consider replacing teflon and aluminum cookware with lava rock, cast iron, carbon steel, ceramic, porcelain enamel, stainless steel, or tempered glass. When simmering foods, avoid using cast iron and stainless steel cookware. When heating food in the microwave, use glass containers versus plastic.
Food Storage Always opt for glass containers, mason jars, beeswax wraps, food grade silicone containers (BPA free) and the use of cloth napkins.
DIY Home Cleaning Products
I'm a big fan of making your own cleaning products. Not only are they healthier for us, but the use of essential oils in the mixtures makes your home smell so good! Here are a couple of recipes that can get you going on replacing those icky chemical cleaning products.
All purpose cleaner recipe (I found this one doesn't work well on wood but works great on other kitchen surfaces)
1/2 c distilled white vinegar
1/2 c water
2 TBSP baking soda
12-24 drops of organic essential oil of choice
Toilet + shower cleaner recipe
1/2 c water
1/2 c baking soda
1/2 c castille soap
2 TBSP white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Clean Living Inventory
On a scale of 1-5, rate the statements with 1 being "strongly disagree" and 5 being "strongly agree." The goal is not to score a perfect 50 in each section, but knowing that it is just a guide to help you prioritize which areas you would like to work on moving forward.
1. My home environment energizes me and makes me feel good.
2. I consider ingredient safety when buying cleaning products.
3. I incorporate natural elements in my home environment such as plants, wood, stones, fresh air and natural light.
4. I drink filtered water.
5. I'm mindful of my technology use.
6. My home organization supports efficiency in my daily routine.
7. I minimize plastic in my home environment.
8. My home environment supports my overall well-being.
9. I consider the environmental impact of my home purchases.
10. I regularly revisit my home environment habits and consider new ways to detox.
After going over each statement, add up where you landed and begin creating a plan to dive deeper into these areas, one step at a time. Remember, it is about making small shifts that are sustainable over time.
Detoxing your home means caring for your space in ways that energize you and support your overall wellbeing. It also means caring for the overall environment too. The more you know, the more you can make informed choices that align with your current needs and your home environment. Try one of the tips above. Share what worked for you below! To complete the series, next up is Detox Your Mind.